6th Grade Robotics
Robotics encompasses mechanical, electrical and computer engineering's application into the development of electro-mechanical computer controlled systems or robots. While the robotics curriculum touches on the electrical aspects needed for the development of robots, it primarily focuses on the mechanical engineering used in the robot design, construction and applications and the computer engineering needed for computer control and sensory feedback for telo-operated and autonomous robot function. The beginning of the course introduces the students to the idea of robotics. Student's attention is drawn when learning that robotics and the knowledge needed for robotics are constantly encountered in their daily routines. The students first follow the directions provided in the VEX IQ kits to build their first robot, a claw bot, giving them some familiarity with the kit, parts and sensors that will be used throughout the class. Then simple machines like the inclined plan are introduced and used with the robots to teach physics concepts, including gravity, center of gravity, friction and torque, and mechanisms, like gear ratio, that are important in robotics. The second half of the class was focused on the use of programming to control the actions of the robot. Simple games are used to show the nuances of code and importance of even small details in programming. The students learn how to program the robots using graphical ROBOTC with a simple example program that utilizes the sensors of the VEX IQ kit. With these skills developed a design challenge incorporates aspects from the entire class to test the students development of engineering skills in robotics. The students were tasked to design, build and program robot, from scratch, that could successfully navigate a course and perform given tasks.
Design a robot that can navigate through the course provided (schematic can be viewed below) using the VEX IQ kits. This involved navigating through an initial maze-like section. An object was placed in the path and would need to be carried to an end location marked by a certain color on the floor. At the end of the maze section a green line marked the need to avoid a red line in front of it. Finally a blue line marked the start of the search are of the end location. This area was surrounded by yellow and the final location would be placed somewhere within these boundaries. This required the students to program a search function that would be used to find the final location.
Build a pick and place tele-operated robot using VEXIQ Kit and RobotC programming language. There will be two teams competing against each other to pick 5 objects and place them at a specified location. The team that finishes the task in lesser time - WINS ! The build specification of the robot should meet three conditions - a) The robot should have separate controls programmed for forward and backward movements and making left and right turns, b) the robot should have separate controls for arm movement and claw movement for picking objects up and, c) a bumper switch based buzzer should be placed on the robot to indicate task completion.